Summary: Seven years ago Gotham lost one of it’s most prolific heroes, and the worst part is no one knows why or how. After all this time, the question of whatever happened to Dick Grayson remains unanswered. But then the only one still asking the question is Damian Wayne.
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Damian wasn’t particularly fond of asking for help. One only needed to consult history to be intimately aware of that fact.
But there was a chance. A slight chance that he had not thought this particular scenario through to completion before acting. And as such, it was advisable he call for help to eliminate the possibility of a worst case scenario.
Eyes narrowed behind his domino, he’d watched the program sequence terminate and the chamber disengage.
The process was a new one for him to witness in the flesh, as was the cryogenic chamber.
An incident years ago with Doctor Victor Freeze and an inelegantly violent Red Hood had put an end to the villain’s crime sprees permanently, and no other villains had ever had the sentimentality or inclination for the type of work Freeze preferred. After Batman had extracted all the information he could about Freeze’s processes, the files had been closed and all the evidence from all his previous crimes had been locked away.
Apparently this decision was rather premature.
As the chamber depressurized, Damian saw the chilled air from inside the chamber hit the air around it and condense visibly. A mechanical grinding and whirring of gears and mechanisms long unused echoed through the room as the front portion of the chamber lifted and slid away.
Stepping out from around the console to get a closer look, Damian was aware of the fact he’d been holding his breath and let it out in a soft woosh. He forced himself to relax his muscles, which were taut and rigid, as if Damian were somehow expecting a massive impact.
To a point he was. He had thought that by now with all the disillusionment and disappointment he’d felt going through this rigmarole, that the tension of the moment would have lost its intensity.
A tightness in his chest and throat and eyes told him differently.
Squeezing his hand into a fist, he concentrated on the sound and feel of the latex finger pads scraping against each other to ground him as the condensation evaporated into the air.
Damian Wayne was not a coward.
And anyone who told him he was as such would regret it vigorously after he was done with them, but he found he needed to take this in increments.
First, he trained his eyes on the floor in front of the chamber. His peripheral vision alerted him to the fact that whatever was inside the chamber was overwhelmingly dark in colour.
Lifting his eyes up slowly he let his gaze slide with what he imagined to be professional detachment over the bottom lip of the chamber, and then up to spot a pair of black boot encased feet.
Black boots were rather common equipment for all manner of employment, both of the legal and illegal variety. No matter how familiar the texture appeared. He moved on.
Upwards, the boots were wrapped around strong calves. The black material had a soft sheen to it that Damian did his best not to compare to his own suit’s altered neoprene fabric.
But his restraint ended at the thighs where his eyes were immediately drawn to blue.
A bright nearly electric blue.
Damian’s eyes raced along the stripes like a live current to the familiar symbol stretched across a familiar chest and flicked up to the face.
To Grayson’s face.
It was just as he’d always remembered it. Thinking back to all the nights when Grayson was gone when he’d worried he might not recognize the slant of the man’s nose or the line of his jaw in a crowd. Damian had memorized every plane in the thoughts that he might have to pick out just one of those features in a group of people. That his chance of finding Grayson might rely completely on whether or not he could pick his individual facial constructs out from a face that was a seeming stranger.
Grayson’s features were classically handsome. It was possibly just one reason why many people had always felt so at ease with the man. Or at least Damian thought so. He had a strong nose and jawline that may have just been plucked off a grecian statue, and a mouth capable of curling into a conspiratorial grin at any moment. His features were inviting to the public at large, which had made it easy for Grayson to be kind and charming. His appearance was a type of manipulation.
But now that manipulative face was slack and silent. Frost from the chamber still clung to the man’s eyelashes, and beads of melted ice clung to his cheeks, nose, eyelashes and chin.
Damian’s hand did not tremble as he lifted a hand to his domino, making sure that the technology wherein was recording the image he saw before him and transmitting it back along their secured network.
“Oracle.” He heard an answering channel of silence open. But the silence was different, softer. He’d come to recognize the difference as an answer. “I need to arrange immediate transport of a- a large cryogenic chamber. I also need medical back up.”
There wasn’t an answer. Which was unusual. Because Oracle was professional and she always confirmed. Damian felt impatience and irritation and what almost seemed like desperation bubble up inside him, and his next words were more of a bark then language.
“Well? Did you hear me?”
Oracle’s voice was calm but for an underlying tremor that Damian recognized all too well.
“B’s ETA is approximately seven minutes. Hold tight.”
Damian hated to wait. He hated to be reliant on others.
So he curled his hands into fists, body tense and spine ramrod straight.
But he waited.
Because he could do nothing else.
Notes: Another shortish part. Apparently I take this story in little chunks. If anyone has any inconsistencies to point out or even little spelling errors I’d be grateful, I’ve self edited once again and am not infallible to error. Things should be moving more quickly soon once I have a few more characters to work with I promise~
This part actually concludes what I’d call chapter one, which altogether is about 3000 words so far. For some reason I’ve been publishing by scene instead of chapter. Oh well. I hope everyone enjoys this, and I promise more visceral reactions from Damian after the shock wears off.
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